No. 34: Joyce Wieland SHORTS


***Final NFSA Screening for 2017!*** 

A selection of films from the filmmaker Joyce Wieland. Wieland is sometimes regarded as Canada's 'first feminist artist', her work offers an eccentric blend of nationalism, feminism, political satire and eroticism. In addition to experimental film she was also a painter and quilt maker (her work 'Passion over reason' famously hung over the bed of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau). She is also known for her work with former husband, the experimental filmmaker Michael Snow. LB

Dripping Water - 10mins - 1969
‘Play sound loud’. – J.W.
‘You see nothing but a white, crystal white plate, and water dripping into the plate, from the ceiling, from high, and you hear the sound of dripping water. The film is ten minutes long. I can imagine only St. Francis looking at a water plate and water dripping so lovingly, so respectfully, so serenely. The usual reaction is: Oh what is it anyhow? Just a plate of water dripping.’ But that is a snob remark. The remark has no love for the world or anything. Snow and Wieland’s film uplifts the object, and leaves the viewer with a finer attitude toward the world around him, it opens his eyes to the phenomenal world. And how you can love people if you don’t love water, stone, grass.’ – Jonas Mekas. 

Rat Life and Diet - 16mins - 1973
A film about draft dodgers during the Vietnam War escaping to Canada, this is a pro-Canadian film in the face of U.S. Imperialism. "When [Joyce] Wieland claimed she 'couldn't make aesthetic statements in New York any more,' this was not because other artists in the U.S. did not share her political views [...]. Circa 1971, it seemed that politicized artists in the U.S. had no choice, however, but to make art that was critical, angry, and oppositional. In Canada, Wieland foresaw the possibility of making art that was equally politically-engaged, yet profoundly different because it was affirmative and utopian, and because it was participating in a larger project to reinvent the nation. Rat Life and Diet in North America announced the emergence of a different kind of political art." -- Sloane Johanne

Cat Compilation (1969-73 - with shorts from other filmmakers) - 28mins A compilation of five short cat-centred films originally assembled for the Intercat Film Festival: 'Minnaloushe' by Andrew Sugerman; 'Meeoow' by Joan Shulof and John Bollinger; 'Cat Film for Ursula' by Standish Lawder; 'Fishes in Screaming Water' by Pola Chapelle; and Canadian Joyce Wieland's structural film 'Catfood' (1968). In Catfood, a cat is presented eating fish to a background of oceanic sounds. 

all prints 16mm courtesy NFSA